What and when babies first eat may affect diabetes risk | Science News

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What and when babies first eat may affect diabetes risk

Children predisposed to type 1 diabetes are better off waiting until 4 months of age to consume solid foods

11:26am, July 11, 2013

Infants at risk of type 1 diabetes who receive their first solid foods between ages 4 months and 6 months appear less likely to develop the condition than others given solid food before or after that time window, a new study finds.

Type 1 diabetes, which can strike children at any age, occurs when an aberrant immune reaction kills cells in the pancreas, requiring a person to take insulin shots. Two studies in 2003 found an association between early first foods and the presence of rogue antibodies, a warning sign of type 1 diabetes. The new findings go an important step further, tracking babies long enough to see who developed diabetes, says Kendra Vehik, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

The new study, which appears July 8 in JAMA Pediatrics, included 1,835 children in the Denver area who had reached at least age 7. They were at high risk because they either carried a genetic trait that increased their risk for the disease or

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